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Software Recommendations Report - Operations Management

Essay by   •  August 23, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  2,522 Words (11 Pages)  •  2,980 Views

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Unit 3


The paper selected the best software packages for the firm's materials requirements planning (MRP), capacity requirement planning (CRP), and enterprise resource planning (ERP) needs. The paper researched the pros and cons of six software systems designed to perform these functions. The paper next made recommendations after analyzing the pros and cons of each of the six software systems evaluated. Finally, the paper concluded with reported recommendations based on information such as cost, compatibility with current systems and work flow processes, functionality, ease of use, and end user support.

Unit 3 Software Recommendations Report

The purpose of this paper is to give an in-depth investigatory analysis that is intended to make software recommendation for PPQ Parts manufacturing company. To alleviate some PPQ Parts concerns, the management team will be introducing a number of software package additions and changes to various systems within the company. Software is designed to make the particular system that it is matched with as lean and efficient as possible and to make the system work seamlessly with other systems in order to ensure that the entire manufacturing process is improved based on information from Heizer & Render (2012). This paper will introduce the recommended software package that would best serve PPQ Parts most efficiently and effectively along with recommendations are the advantages and disadvantages of choosing such a package.

Software Recommendations Report: PPQ Parts

According to Tan (2007), one of the primary objectives for any business is to increase their profits. Profits can be calculated by subtracting costs from revenue; costs, and revenue is figurative representations of supply and demand, respectively. Each member of the organization, within their assigned position, should be doing their best within their ability to achieve profits for the firm by attempting to manipulate the supply or demand and cost or revenue side of the business. Operations managers, having no control over the demand side of the business, employ lean operational techniques to accomplish their part of helping the team. Lean operational techniques keep supply costs as low as conceivably possible to improve profits. According to Schroeder (2008), lean operations philosophy eliminates waste within manufacturing systems and emphasizes just-in-time inventory tactics and smooth production processes. An effective way in which to achieve such efficiencies in various systems throughout a firm is to employ certain configured software packages. Introducing such software has allowed many firms to apply and deploy lean production principles to the whole supply chain. This application aids in decreasing delivery time to customers, cutting costs and increasing customer satisfaction. Workflow processes are improved as they are joined or coupled with real time data based on observations from Tan (2007). PPQ Parts is one company that has chosen to use software packages to improve their operations. After review, there are particular software packages that would best serve PPQ Parts' various systems.

First, we will explore Materials Requirements Planning (MRP). The main function of a Materials Requirements Planning (MRP) system is to ensure that materials are ordered for production requirements or to produce the required volume for both internal and external sales and distribution according to SAP MRP (2005). One such MRP system that has come on the market and gained a reputation for being quick and easy is the Excel-based MRP software for small and large manufacturing operations. This software is called Research Manager. The advantages of Research Manager are that the software is compact and it is an Excel program. It is easy to use and it also has extensive reporting capabilities. On the other hand, its disadvantage is in the "what-if" scenario abilities. According to Kannan (2002) ,in these "what-if" scenarios this MRP program does not carry the breadth or functionality of other systems, such as the SAP MRP.

In all, after conducting research on several different MRP systems, SAP MRP has proven the best solution for PPQ PARTS. A bonus is that SAP is compatible with the other software systems that PPQ Parts will be implementing and it also has a global solution.

More facts are that SAP MRP is capable of automatically triggering purchases to order materials needed for parts production. When MRP is run at the plant facility, the automatic creation of orders will reduce time spent monitoring raw materials levels. Superior planning within the supply chain will also improve cost savings. The SAP MRP system allows for the creation of target levels that can instantly prompt necessary orders, or initiate an approval process requiring an individual to manually check whether or not the order should be created. This ability is important during seasonal activity or when PPQ Parts demand is expected to decrease.

Order creation is based upon forecast. On a regular basis, this software system will introduce the bill of material in order to examine the dependent requirements of the material for the planning horizon. MRP performs requirements planning based upon all of the components in the bill of material, including inventory and scheduled receipts at the plant. The system will send requirements to the vendor once the schedule is firm as SAP MRP (2005) inputs.

The SAP MRP system enables employees to conduct an availability check and maintain the master data for the finished products. The material masters are plant specific so that information is made available for all regions. Having this unique ability will provide PPQ Parts with the capability of looking at various vendors throughout their supply chain and analyze raw materials costs if different vendors are used to supply different regions as stated by SAP MRP (2005).

Implementing the SAP MRP system at PPQ Parts has the potential for being a challenge. This is because of PPQ Parts initial architectural design. There is a preliminary time commitment from staff which will temporarily hinder production. With that stated, any proposed disadvantages by means of production delays and initial investment will be well worthwhile. The valuable capabilities offered by the SAP MRP system and its ability to exchange information with the other systems currently in place make its implementation to PPQ Parts an overall advantage to the company. It will provide PPQ Parts with



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